Big State’s Tips For Resolving Title Disputes
Have you lost a loved one, and the property they left behind turns out to have multiple heirs? More often than not inheriting a house means inheriting a lot more than just the house… you inherit complications as well. We’ve seen a huge variety of different cases of contested heirship, so we can share a lot of rules of thumb for this situation. Keep this in mind:
You can’t sell a house until title issues are resolved, and the most common cause for confusion in title disputes after a property owner dies is the lack of a will.
When a property has multiple owners as a result of not being included in a will, it is referred to as heir property ownership. When a house is inherited and passed down, the number of interest holders increases exponentially with each passing generation. This increases the chances that:
- Heirs do not live on or near the land.
- Heirs do not live near each other.
- Heirs do not know one another.
- Heirs do not know how to locate one another.
- Heirs do not have a connection to the land.
The more heirs come out of the woodwork, the larger the chances are that you may lose the home. Here’s how to avoid that.
Solutions For Selling A House With Multiple Heirs:
If you inherited a house with other heirs and there is no will, there are solutions to owning the property without increasing the amount of interests over time. These are the three primary solutions:
1. Buy out the other owners
One solution is to buy out the other owners. When there are multiple interests in a property, it is common that they will have different desires for the same property. Some will want to sell, and some might want to hold on to the house. If you want to be the only owner of the property, you might consider buying out the share of your siblings or co-heirs. This option is most common when one of the heirs has a special affinity or attachment to the home.
2. Partition the property
Another option would be for the heirs to partition the property. A partition is the dividing of lands so that they may be owned separately, and each partition can be converted to sole ownership rather than co-ownership.
Partitioning is great because each person gets sole ownership (of something), which helps avoid many of the conflicts that arise from joint possession. If the property is small, or cannot be physically partitioned for other reasons, then it can also be partitioned by dividing the proceeds from the sale of the property.
3. Sell the property for cash and distribute the money among the heirs
This is another popular option for dealing with an inherited property, whether or not there is a will. The executor simply prepares the house for sale on the traditional market. This process allows the heirs to receive the most from the proceeds, but also requires a lot more time, money, effort and communication. You can also sell to investor at a discount for cash if you need a quick closing. Many people end up going this route; a large percentage of inherited homes are sold to investors. In many cases, heirs just don’t want to spend the time and money to fix up the house for sale. One of Big State Home Buyer’s clients, Peggy, was in a position where the family was not communicating well. Our client was the executor of the estate, and her and her siblings decided that selling quickly for cash and dividing it among the siblings would be the best for everyone.
Read more about Peggy’s inherited house and how she chose to resolve the situation.